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  • At, we receive a lot of feedback from English learners who are saying

  • that they need to improve their listening skills.

  • And today, we have with us Carolyn Sandy, who has taught English for multiple years

  • in Asia, and specifically, in China. And, as we consider the idea of listening, I think

  • about many English learners on our website who have pointed out that they have difficulty

  • understanding English often. And it may be that they have difficulty understanding native

  • speakers of English. And, Carolyn, it's sometimes it's just that they have difficulty understanding

  • their English teachers. Or maybe they're even having difficulty understanding this video.

  • What are some things that English learners can do to improve their listening?

  • One thing that English learners need to remember is just to be patient. Listening is hard work,

  • and it takes a lot of effort to listen to someone and understand them as they speak.

  • So patience is something just to keep in mind. And so even if they're not getting the results

  • that they want, they need to realize that you're not going to learn English after just

  • a couple of days.

  • And not being afraid to ask someone to repeat something--

  • Ok.

  • --to hear it again.

  • When we think about improving with listening--often if someone is going to listen, maybe through

  • a CD or an MP3, using an audio device to listen--there are not as many advantages to understanding

  • as there are in a situation, perhaps in a real-world situation where you're actually

  • speaking with someone else, like I'm in from of you right now. So what are some advantages

  • of actually being with a person and seeing that person while you are trying to understand

  • what they are saying?

  • A lot of language is communicated through body language and people's expressions, so

  • if you can practice your English or the language you are learning with somebody who is speaking

  • that language, you can learn a lot from their reactions to what you're saying, and even

  • how they use their English on an everyday level that you may not get just from the textbook

  • or learning vocabulary words.

  • Yeah. So body language is important. I imagine sometimes even when people use gestures, they

  • can perhaps demonstrate what they're talking about. For example, if they use the word "umbrella,"

  • what does that mean?

  • Well, perhaps they will perform the action of opening an umbrella. And that gesture helps

  • them to understand what the word is.

  • That's true.

  • So a gesture might be helpful. Even if--whether the person is re-enacting (is performing)

  • the activity that the person is speaking about--or even just other body language is often helpful

  • for people to understand. Are there other examples of non-verbal communication that

  • can help besides body language?

  • Something that has helped me in learning Chinese is to listen maybe for words that you know

  • and then to look at how people in the group are interacting with each other. And I kind

  • of can piece together how what they are saying is relating to words that I know. And it helps

  • me to fit the conversation together.

  • Ok, so taking the things that you've already heard, and making a connection.

At, we receive a lot of feedback from English learners who are saying

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